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Hundreds make way to first Torvean Parkrun at new Inverness venue

By John Davidson

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The Parkrun course follows two-and-a-half loops of the path at the new park.
The Parkrun course follows two-and-a-half loops of the path at the new park.

Parkrun returned to Inverness on Saturday as hundreds of walkers and runners descended on the new Torvean park to take part in the first Parkrun in the city since March 14 last year.

The global free 5k events were given the green light to go ahead in Scotland from last Saturday, but there was another week's delay in the Highland capital as paperwork for the new course was finalised.

It didn't stop a record number of people from turning out, however, with 368 people completing the new Torvean Parkrun.

The course follows two-and-a-half laps of a new path built in the park, which was developed as part of the West Link scheme which included the opening of a second crossing of the Caledonian Canal south of the Tomnahurich Bridge.

Event director Elaine Barrie said the first Parkrun at the new venue had been a great success, despite the challenges of a new course and so many participants.

"We're delighted," she said. "We've had a good turnout, everybody has been in good spirits and they've really enjoyed the course, although it is undulating – we've had a few comments that it is a little bit tougher but they've enjoyed the course.

"It is [great to be back after 17 months]. I can't believe it was the 14th of March last year and it just seems like a lifetime ago, and being over on a different course in this beautiful park. We want to welcome people as one of the nicest Parkrun's in the country, so it would be great to welcome visitors and locals.

"We're just so fortunate to get this facility, it's great."

Cllr Trish Robertson, chair of economy and infrastructure at Highland Council, which oversaw the West Link project, was at Torvean to welcome the Parkrunners.

She said: "It's just great to see everyone getting together again and getting the chance to run together after so long.

"It's lovely and it's such a nice setting, not just for the runners but for everybody to enjoy this park. It's been a shame that it's been hidden for so long.

"It's great to see the public being able to get into it at all times and to enjoy it."

Torvean Parkrun takes place at 9.30am every Saturday. For details, see www.parkrun.org.uk/torvean

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